ALGONA - There wasn't a single second of Friday's 32-minute girls' basketball game where Webster City looked or played like it was comfortable.
The ball-hawking, in-your-face style of defense from end line to end line played by Algona had everything to do with the Lynx unease.
Open looks at the basket were few and far between for Webster City Friday night in its 45-24 loss to the North Central Conference rival Bulldogs on the final night of the regular season for both teams. The Lynx had only one field goal in the first quarter, three in the opening half and just eight in the game en route to their second straight setback.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
WCHS senior Maddy Miller (21) puts up a shot over Algona’s Paige Yi Friday night in Algona. The Bulldogs coasted to a 45-24 victory.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Lynx junior Cambria Hoffman (left) passes out to a teammate after retrieving a loose ball in the lane against Algona on Friday.
"They were quicker and stronger than we were, and they exposed our weakness which is ball-handling," WCHS head coach Jeff Lyons said. "We struggled to handle the ball and we struggled to find people that could dribble with their off-hand and that caused us to turn the ball over a lot and we could never get into our offense."
The Lynx (5-16, 5-13 NCC) piled up 26 turnovers.
Senior center Katie Holdgrafer and sophomore guard Taylor Broshar both had six points to lead the WCHS offense. Holdgrafer, who also crashed the boards for a team-high seven rebounds, accounted for the team's lone field goal in the first 8 minutes, but Algona (14-7, 13-5 NCC) swarmed around her in the paint whenever she touched the ball.
Algona 45, Webster City 24
Webster City (5-16, 5-13 NCC) - Emily Elm 1 0-0 2, Taylor Broshar 1 3-4 6, Maddy Miller 1 0-0 2, Katie Holdgrafer 2 2-3 6, Cambria Hoffmann 1 2-2 4, Rachel Kauffman 0 0-2 0, Kelsey Lindmark 0 0-0 0, Erin Anderson 0 0-0 0, Lacey Lindmark 2 0-0 4, Lynne Chalfant 0 0-0 0. Totals: 8 7-11 24.
Algona (14-7, 13-5 NCC) - Paige Yi 4 0-0 10, Reba Zeller 0 0-0 0, Jeni Zeller 0 1-2 1, Ali Grein 0 0-2 0, Tangy Wiseman 0 3-4 3, Jade Simpson 3 0-0 7, Rachel Teague 1 0-0 2, Michaela Heesch 0 0-0 0, Heather Ziesman 6 3-4 15, Katlyn Loeschen 1 2-2 4, Courtney Groen 0 1-2 1, Nicole Kenne 0 0-0 0, Abby Strohman 0 2-2 2, Lacey Seely 0 0-0 0, Amber Lenz 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 12-18 45.
Webster City 3 8 7 6-24
Algona11 7 15 12-45
3-point field goals - WC 1 (Broshar); ALG 3 (Yi 2, Simpson). Rebounds - WC 23 (Holdgrafer 7). Steals - WC 6 (Miller 2). Assists - WC 3 (Miller 2). Team fouls - WC 14, ALG 14. Fouled out - none.
"They knew that Katie is our leading scorer and they took away our primary option," Lyons said.
Cambria Hoffmann and Lacey Lindmark both chipped in four points for the visitors.
Heather Ziesman dropped in 15 points for Algona, and Paige Yi knocked down two 3-pointers as part of her 10-point performance.
Even with the offensive difficulties, WCHS found itself down by only seven, 18-11, at the intermission thanks to a 5 of 7 showing at the free-throw line in the first half.
But the Bulldogs forced three turnovers on the Lynx first four possessions of the third quarter, and the hosts went on an 8-0 run to push their lead to double digits for good. Algona's margin was 15, 33-18, after three quarters, and its lead reached 20 for the first time midway through the final period.
WCHS will try to regroup in time for Wednesday's postseason opener. The Lynx will travel to Humboldt to take on the Wildcats in a Class 3A Region 1 quarterfinal-round battle at 7 p.m.
WCHS and Humboldt (8-13) split their two regular season meetings. The Wildcats won Round 1 on their home floor on Nov. 29, 40-37, while the Lynx defended their home court inside Jefferson Gymnasium on Jan. 17, 28-23.